Barack Obama to Host International Jazz Day Concert at White House, Featuring Danilo Perez

“One of the many perks of being the US president is that if you fancy hosting an International Jazz Day concert from your front room, you can. Barack Obama and wife Michelle have announced plans to hold a concert next month, featuring a string of musical legends including Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Sting and Herbie Hancock.”

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Danilo Perez with the Wayne Shorter Quarter Live in Budapest

“The 36th Budapest Spring Festival will run for 17 days from April 6-24 and involves many of the arts, with events in classical music, opera, jazz and pop, world music, dance, theatre and the visual arts.

One of the world-recognised performers will be the Wayne Shorter Quartet (pictured), led by the American jazz saxophonist and composer with no fewer than 10 Grammy Awards to his name.”

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NPR Music Features "Danilo Pérez: A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama"

“In the greater jazz world, Danilo Pérez is a respected pianist. In his homeland of Panama, he’s a national icon and cultural ambassador, and not just for his artistry. Ever since he returned to perform in his war-torn homeland in the 1980s, he’s seen the potential for jazz to be a vehicle for social change, and spent much of his time offstage seeding this vision in the form of youth music education programs. The Panama Jazz Festival he founded, for instance, doesn’t just feature major international acts — it brings students from all sorts of backgrounds to share the stage, and funnels profits back to them.”

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The Panama Jazz Festival: An Ocean of Sonic Delights

The late afternoon sun was scorching and the music was just as hot when the 13th edition of the annual Panama Jazz Festival wrapped up after six days jammed with clinics, master classes, lectures, jam sessions and formal concerts featuring some of the jazz kingdom’s ranking royalty. Under the banner of Art, Education and Culture, Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez’s yearly extravaganza once again delivered a well balanced menu of activities aimed both veteran and neophyte jazz fans as well as aspiring musicians from throughout the region who took advantage of the presence of master musicians to advance their skills.

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Danilo Receives Honorary Doctorate from University of Panama

El reconocido pianista, compositor y jazzista panameño, Danilo Pérez, recibió el título de Doctor Honoris Causa este miércoles de la mano del rector de la Universidad de Panamá, Gustavo García De Paredes.

The renowned pianist , composer and jazz Panama , Danilo Perez, received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa Wednesday hand rector of the University of Panama , Gustavo Garcia de Paredes.

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Chicago Tribune reviews Danilo Perez with McCoy Tyner and Geri Allen

If pianist McCoy Tyner hadn't played a note Friday night in Orchestra Hall, he would have deserved the multiple standing ovations he received.

A vastly influential pianist who long ago proved that the instrument could summon orchestral power, color and sweep, Tyner commands deep respect among jazz listeners. That he also famously collaborated with John Coltrane, most notably on the saxophonist's landmark album "A Love Supreme" (1965), has made Tyner a living symbol of a revolutionary period in jazz.

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Boston Globe Reviews Children of the Light, Live at Sanders Theatre

“Danilo Pérez rose from the piano midway through the performance of “Children of the Light,” presented at Sanders Theatre Friday by the Celebrity Series of Boston, to playfully introduce his trio mates John Patitucci (“the godfather of the bass”) and drummer Brian Blade. He then shifted gears and made a somber announcement.

“Sometimes you wonder why we behave that way,” he said, alluding to the week’s terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali, the latter having taken place that day. Pérez said they were dedicating the next song, Blade’s “Within Everything,” to all the victims. The piece proved to be a highlight of the performance, as it is on the trio’s album, also named, like the trio, “Children of the Light” — slow, meditative, deceptively simple, with an exquisite folky blues groove to it that calls to mind Keith Jarrett . . . and aptly elegiac.”

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Danilo Perez Receives 2015 Gloria Award

The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC) is proud to announce that the Grammy® award-winning Panamanian pianist, educator and social activist Danilo Pérez has been awarded the 2015 Gloria Career Achievement Award. This Award is given to individuals and institutions that have significantly contributed to the development of the Latino community, not only in Chicago and the United States but also across the Globe. Past recipients of the Gloria Award include Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría, Brazilian director Carlos Diegues, legendary Cuban singer Celia Cruz, the multi-award winning Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno and Mexican artist Leonardo Nierman. 

 “Glory being the pinnacle of success and splendor, the highest recognition of excellence, it is a tremendous responsibility and a huge honor to be considered for such an important award," reflects Pérez, who will be the guest of honor of the Closing Night concert of the Latino Music Festival, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary, on Sunday November 22nd at the Merle Reskin Theater, 60 E. Balbo Drive.

 The concert will feature the Chicago debut of the Recycled Instruments Orchestra of Cateura, comprised of boys, girls, teenagers and young adults with limited access to resources, who live in the Bañado Sur community, located next to the Cateura landfill, in Asunción, Paraguay and who perform using instruments elaborated with garbage reclaimed from the landfill. The Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra of Chicago will join them in the program.

“Danilo is more than a musical genius. He is a true champion of the arts. He believes in the transformative power of the arts, and in its ability to unite people from all walks of life. He has created a new musical idiom through such compositions as ‘Suite of the Americas’ and ‘The Canal Suite.’ He has inspired a new generation of musicians and artists who are now following in his footsteps. We are proud to honor Danilo with the Gloria Award in what promises to be a truly memorable evening with these two youth-driven orchestras,” said Pepe Vargas, executive director and founder of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.

 In addition to over three decades of contributions to jazz and contemporary music, Pérez’s annual Panama Jazz Festival has brought world-renowned musicians to the country for the last 12 years, not only to perform but also to work closely with local youth. The mission of the festival is carried on throughout the year by the Fundación Danilo Pérez, which offers musical and cultural education to disadvantaged young people in Panama City. In Boston, Pérez currently serves as Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, which offers students an opportunity to explore creativity and advance the social power of music through the restoration of ecology and humanity.

Pérez released the critically acclaimed record Children of the Light with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade (Mack Avenue Records) on September 18th, 2015. Starting in October, Pérez, Patitucci and Blade will be touring in support of the new album through Europe and North America.

 Directed by Favio Chavez, The Recycled Instruments Orchestra of Cateura’s repertoire includes classical music, folk music, Paraguayan and Latin American music, works by the Beatles and Frank Sinatra, film sound scores and symphonic heavy metal. The Orchestra instruments resemble violins, violas, cellos, double bass, guitars, flutes, saxophones, trumpets and percussion instruments. They are the subject of a documentary called The Landfilharmonic, which is currently making the rounds of film festivals worldwide.

Founded by Egyptian violinist Mina Zikri in 2005, the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra fills an artistic need for young adult musicians to be fulfilled and employed. Zikri recognized a dichotomy in symphonic music. As many nations advanced from Third World status, parents in those countries began giving their children music lessons, sending the most promising to elite conservatories. Added to the young talent still coming from Europe and the United States, more world-class musicians are probably alive today than in all of human history. At the same time, the number of jobs for skilled musicians has remained the same or declined. The orchestra collaborates with well-known featured soloists from both the world of symphonic music and other musical genres such as folk, jazz and pop.

Examiner Reviews Children of the Light

“Pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade don’t even make a pretense of melody in this new album, Children Of The Light.

Together, these outstanding jazz musicians provide a glimmer of intuitive brilliance in their homage to mentor Wayne Shorter.

Out since September 18, 2015 on Mack Avenue Records, this acoustic jazz trio album is as much an homage to their mentor jazz sax legend Wayne Shorter, as it is what they can bring to the studio.

Together, they’ve played beautifully original music with the Wayne Shorter Quartet for many years. Separately, the award-winning, highly influential movers and shakers of today’s jazz have carved out their own music as legends do.”

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The Jazz Breakfast Reviews Children Of The Light

"What these three musicians have learnt down the years is a way of sounding much bigger than just three. The way they structure the music, the way their instruments intertwine, gives the impression of a much bigger group. Pérez, in particular, has always used expansive harmony that suggests far more than he is actually playing, and Patitucci and Blade are just as wide-reaching in their own ways...

There are manifold joys to be had in the music here recorded, but the overall joy is a similar one we get from the Shorter Quartet – that ability to blend structure and freedom that results in musical flight. It might be achieved by detailed, virtuosic musical intelligence mixed with complex emotional understanding but it results in a simple and immediately communicated feeling of soaring way up there among the clouds."

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Guardian (UK), "Perez, Patitucci and Blade: Children of the Light review – effortlessly hip"

Some of this music was previewed during the London visit of sax giant Wayne Shorter’s regular partners Danilo Pérez (piano), John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) as a trio last year, and the album likewise emphasises the immense jazz experience and the effortless hipness with which they deploy it all.

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ZEALnyc Features Children of the Light, Live at Jazz Standard

“In a fall season where a plethora of trios have overwhelmed the jazz scene in New York, this free-flying trio stands to trump them all: pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Pattitucci and drummer Brian Blade—best known for their brilliance backing jazz legend Wayne Shorter in his quartet. Seeing the three launching into Shorter’s universe seems to be enough, but in their first outing as a trio, they are surprisingly just as brilliant in their own way as shown on their first album, Children of the Light on Mack Avenue Records.”

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